Section 7. The commissioner may, and upon the petition of fifty or more citizens of the commonwealth shall, undertake such investigation as may be required to ascertain whether any substantial number of persons in any occupation are receiving oppressive and unreasonable wages, as defined in section one. The commissioner may, subsequent to such investigation, differentiate and classify employments in any occupation according to the nature of the service rendered and recommend appropriate minimum fair wage rates for different classes of employment. The commissioner may establish minimum fair wage rates varying with localities if in its judgment conditions make such local differentiation proper and will not cause unreasonable discrimination against any locality. The commissioner may establish a suitable scale of rates for learners and apprentices in any occupation or occupations, which scale of learners’ and apprentices’ rates may be less than the regular minimum fair wage rates established for experienced persons in such occupation or occupations, provided that in a retail, merchandising or laundry establishment such scale of learners’ and apprentices, rates shall apply only to the first eighty hours during which such learner or apprentice is employed.
The commissioner shall not establish minimum fair wage rates below $1.85 per hour, except for learners and apprentices, and except for ushers, ticket sellers and ticket takers whose minimum fair wage rates shall not be below $1.25, and except for janitors and caretakers of residential property, who, when furnished with living quarters, shall be paid a wage of not less than $36 per week, and except for services as golf caddies, and except for service people who customarily and regularly receive more than $20 a month in tips.
In determining the wage an employer is required to pay a tipped employee, the amount paid to such employee by the employer shall be an amount equal to: (1) the cash wage paid such employee which for purposes of such determination shall be not less than the cash wage required to be paid such an employee on July 1, 1999; and (2) an additional amount on account of the tips received by such employee which amount is equal to the difference between the wage specified in clause (1) and the wage in effect under section 1. The additional amount on account of tips may not exceed the value of the tips actually received by an employee. This paragraph shall not apply with respect to any tipped employee unless such employee has been informed by the employer of the provisions of this paragraph, and all tips received by such employee have been retained by the employee, except that this paragraph shall not be construed to prohibit the pooling of tips among employees who customarily and regularly receive tips.
The commissioner may establish overtime rates for all hours worked in excess of forty hours in any week.